Pride and Frustration in Gulf Banks


Staff in Gulf banks are both proud of, and frustrated by, their work, according to Hay Group. Research conducted in the region by the global management consulting firm shows that banking staff are proud of their work in what they see as a prestigious industry but also feel stifled by their organisations.

John Branch, head of financial services consulting at Hay Group Middle East said “Of the individuals surveyed, we saw strong levels of pride, much more so than if we are to look at global averages.” The research found that:

  • 83 percent of employees take pride in working for their employer, compared to 75 percent globally, whilst
  • 80 percent believe in future projects, compared to 71 percent globally.

However, only 61 percent of the same banking employees are willing to exert discretionary effort, or ‘go the extra mile’, compared to 67 percent globally.

Mr Branch explained; “Generally we expect to see highly engaged staff going the extra mile for their employers, but here it seems the opposite is true. When we investigated further, we found that employees are frustrated – they want to do a good job but there are too many barriers in their way.”

The Hay Group research found that the industry isn’t making the most of their people:

  • 64 percent feel that their work is interesting and challenging, compared to 71 percent globally
  • 57 percent say they are encouraged to come up with better ways of working, 8 percent less than global averages, and
  • 55 percent feel that their ideas are listened to, less than the global average of 62 percent.

The opportunities for banks who manage to overcome these challenges are vast. Global research from Hay Group suggests that organisations with highly engaged and enabled staff can improve revenue growth by a factor of 4.5.


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